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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Say Bory quitting Bar Ass'n

Say Bory quitting Bar Ass'n

SAY Bory will give up his elected position as President of the Kingdom of Cambodia

Bar Association at the end of February, assuming that a replacement can be elected

by the nation's lawyers.

"I have decided to step down for personal reasons," he said in a Jan 23

interview.

A general assembly of the bar will gather Feb 28 to select Bory's replacement, but

if candidates do not step forward at least one month before, Bory said he may be

required to stay on longer.

"Many members have come to ask me to change my decision. They have asked me

to continue until the end of the [two year] mandate in October," he said.

Nonetheless, Bory, 58, said he will leave. The nation's top lawyer, who has previously

expressed an interest in starting his own political party, said that he is not yet

ready to enter the political fray.

"Right now, I do not intend to enter into politics. I will stand outside of

politics so that I can meditate about Buddhism."

Most recently, Bory has been involved in contentious negotiations with foreign-funded

legal aid organizations over the Bar Association's desire to place controls on their

right to offer legal protection to Cambodia's poor.

A former Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party secretary of state for relations with

parliament, Bory was also a KPNLF delegate to Europe and a constitutional adviser

to UNTAC.

Most prominently, Bory defended former Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Norodom

Sirivudh against charges that he plotted to kill Second Prime Minister Hun Sen in

1995.

After receiving death threats in connection with the case, Bory put up what appeared

to be a token defense and Sirivudh was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 10

years.

The case, which numerous legal observers labeled a farce, was not appealed because

Sirivudh felt the case was politically-motivated.

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